Going overseas with your family means being able to share some truly precious memories, as well as introducing your kids to a whole world of new possibilities. However, it can be daunting that first time, as there is so much more to think about than when you were travelling without them. Use these seven tips to help you get it right.
Plan as much as possible
When you’re on the move with kids, it’s difficult to work things out on the fly. You might think that you will play things by ear, decide when and where to go based on how you feel, and just wander around until you find a restaurant for lunch or dinner. The reality is that kids often require a lot more planning. You don’t want a grouchy toddler crying about being hungry, or refusing to walk any further because they’re tired. Know the area you’re going to, and research where you’ll be able to go and how to travel.
But be flexible..
At the same time, it’s important to remember that things rarely go as planned when kids are involved! Make sure that you have wiggle room in your plans so that you can keep moving but also adapt to the situation. If your kids are enjoying the aquarium a lot, maybe you don’t need to leave early to go to the show you had planned. If you have a packed lunch with you, then you don’t have to find a café. This will make decisions much easier.
Take some home comforts
Kids can easily get homesick, or anxious, when they are in a new place – even slightly older kids. For this reason, try to make sure that everyone has some home comforts with them. This could be a favorite toy, a blanket for sleeping, or even a particular snack that you won’t be able to buy overseas. When things get overwhelming, they will want to turn to something familiar to make them feel safe again.
The sharing economy is a great way to lower the costs of your trip. With kids in tow, you’d be surprised at how much more you will need to spend, but you can offset that by getting some great deals. You could try a home stay or rent privately instead of paying for a hotel, rent parking spaces ahead of travel to save time and money, or use a car sharing app instead of hiring one.
Always have food
Just in case we haven’t drilled this one in enough yet, always have food with you when you are travelling. You could get delayed or lost any time, and you already know how kids can go from perfectly normal to starving hungry in about five seconds flat. Don’t even venture out without some fruit, a bottle of water, and some other snacks in your bag!
Start your preparations early
Before you purchase your travel tickets, give yourself a good few months to get everything organised in time. Do your kids need inoculations or boosters? Have they got their passports ready? All of this can take a lot of time to organise, so don’t leave it to the last minute.
Do it the easy way
Finally, if there’s an easy way, always take it. Pay for transport from the airport rather than trying to catch a subway with your kids. Go all-inclusive. Take day trips. Yes, it’s more expensive – but the payoff is less stress.
With these tips in mind, your trip should be easier to manage. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and focus on having fun!